When couples (OK, let’s be honest, the bride and her mother!) start looking for wedding venues, they may fall in love with the beauty of the location while visiting it and sign on the dotted line. They have considered the many practical things that come with planning a wedding. It makes sense. After all, we are emotional people who want to tell our friends the story that starts with: “Well… the venue was practical, and that’s why I booked it!
But unless the venue is impossible to live without the perfect place in the world and you are prepared to plan your entire event around it, you should not choose a wedding venue until you have decided:
- The approximate number of guests.
- The size of your budget.
- Whether you are holding your ceremony and reception at the same location.
Take a look at each of the locations you are considering for your wedding. It is a good idea to bring a camera to document specific things that you think make one place better than another. Also, get a notebook and a pen to take notes or remember any questions you may have. Don’t also forget to check the venue’s website, which often contains photos of the venue’s decoration, which can help you visualize your event’s layout. Finally, it is always a good idea to ask the site if there is an upcoming event where you could come and see the site once it is set up. If this option is feasible, it is by far the best way to view a potential site!
Once you have determined these elements and have in mind a few wedding venues that match your criteria, the fun begins! It’s time to narrow down the number of locations, and here’s a list of important questions to consider!
1. What is the decor? Think about the flooring, wall colors, lighting, and layout of the space. Does it match your style and theme? Will you have to spend an excessive amount of money on flowers, fabrics, and decorations to make it beautiful?
2. Does the space have seasonal options like an outdoor garden in the summer or a fireplace in the winter?
3. Does the venue have an in-house caterer, and do you like the food? Does the venue offer the options you are looking for in terms of a buffet, sit-down style, and cocktails? Are the prices reasonable? Does the catering service include items such as linens, chargers, and gratuities? If there is no outside caterer, is there a limit to the number of outside caterers you can use at the meeting venue?
4. Do they have adequate change room and washroom facilities? Do they have washroom facilities for people with disabilities? Is there a room for the bride?
5. Is the venue wheelchair accessible? If not, are there many stairs to go up?
6. Is there enough parking space for all guests? Is the parking lot close to the ceremony and reception halls?
7. What is the cancellation policy?
8. What type(s) of deposit(s) are required? Can you spread payments out over time, and is there a payment schedule?
9. Are there any hidden costs? Don’t forget to read the contract in detail and have someone else read it over to make sure you understand what is written and the terms and conditions.
10. Is the venue accessible the day before your event? This can be useful if you want to be able to decorate early.
11. Does the venue allow you to bring your alcohol (including table wine)? Do they charge a corkage fee? Do they have the right bar? Do they have an alcohol license, and if not, are you required to provide one?
12. Is there room at the wedding venue for a DJ, band, and dance?
13. Does the wedding venue recommend vendors? Sometimes wedding planners work closely with wedding professionals and may recommend their services. This is important because these vendors often offer a particular discount or bonus for reservations made through the venue.
Finally, keep in mind that the venue you choose should reflect your personality and that of your partner, as well as the relationship you have. Although the process may seem overwhelming, trust your instincts and remember to have FUN!
Sand Castle is dedicated to planning the perfect and unique wedding for you. Whether you’re looking for a traditional interior wedding or an outdoor one, they are the right people to call. Their venue is sophisticated yet traditional, luxurious and gorgeous, and comes with various amenities such as bridal suites, veranda, foyer, and more.